Development assistance in Tonga
Overview of Australia’s development partnership with Tonga
- 2020-21 bilateral allocation [budget estimate]
- $20.1 million
- 2020-21 total Australian ODA [budget estimate]
- $35.1 million
- 2019-20 total Australian ODA [budget estimate]
- $26.6 million
Australia and Tonga are working together to support a shared vision of a prosperous and stable Tonga, committed to shaping a strong COVID-19 recovery and building resilience in the face of natural disasters.
Tonga’s small, open economy is reliant on remittances, tourism, agriculture and foreign aid. In recent years it has demonstrated a strong commitment to fiscal consolidation, and ongoing budget discipline will be critical in the difficult COVID-19 environment.
Our work on health systems, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), economic growth, skills development and labour mobility is contributing to COVID-19 resilience and recovery. We continue to place priority on women’s economic empowerment and leadership, disability inclusion and the protection of the most vulnerable.
Pillar 1 — Health Security
Australia is supporting Tonga’s COVID-19 planning and preparedness for the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as safe and effective access to vaccines through multilateral and regional initiatives. We are working with Australian Humanitarian Partnerships, NGOs, local civil society and church partners to support community health and hygiene practices to lower COVID-19 transmission risks. To assist recovery from the crisis, we are supporting health system reform to strengthen primary health care and health promotion services.
Pillar 2 — Stability
Australia is working in partnership with Tonga to address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on women and girls, including through support for institutions that combat violence against women and provide support during lockdowns. Australia’s security partnerships, including through the Australian Federal Police, is supporting Tonga’s Government to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including its efforts to encourage physical distancing and manage quarantine and repatriation efforts.
Pillar 3 — Economic Recovery
In partnership with the World Bank, Australia’s budget support program is leveraging fiscal and public sector policy reform and enabling a focus on health sector effectiveness. Our economic diplomacy is rallying donors to provide timely and sustained additional budget support and technical assistance in exchange for productive economic and governance reforms. We will support the Ministry of Finance to implement and embed public financial management reforms that strengthen Tonga’s response to COVID-19. Our budget support is also a key enabler of social protection under Tonga’s COVID-19 Economic and Social Stimulus Package.